This post was 100 percent bound to happen given our new location. However, we did not anticipate it to occur during our THIRD weekend at home - WAY OUTSIDE tornado season, when our friends were out of town. But as they say in Kansas - Kansas weather is unpredictable!
Here’s our story:
Matt surprised me and arrived home early from work. Luckily for me, that meant he could be at the house when our dryer from Home Depot was delivered :) (Shout out to my amazing parents for the thoughtful housewarming gift!)
The Louisburg festival “Blazing the Burg" was happening Saturday morning. To avoid the crowd we decided to run all our errands for the weekend before starting our weekly Friday night festivities. This also included sampling the local Rice House to critique their Crab Rangoons (verdict: not as good as Lees Kitchen in Franklin, MA, but we would order them again!)
Immediately upon our return to the prairie we cracked beers and cheersed to our success of being the smartest people ever. We sat outside to take in the view - a storm was creeping in and the thunder was rolling. These moments between Matt and I are some of my favorites - the first beer on a Friday evening after a long work week is so satisfying and filled with joy for the weekend ahead. Sometimes Mr. Mark shows up and those nights are even better :)
This Friday evening was a little different. The moment came to a crashing halt as a soft siren could be heard in the background...
Thankfully I had heard the tornado siren in town at the start of the month when they tested. Unfortunately, it was so soft that I was not convinced that it was the same alert - I also recall thinking that it was bizarrely soft in town too! (The backstory to our siren is that we live in the country -a whopping 10 minutes from town- but the sirens were not loud enough to hear at our location. Last year they installed a siren a little over a mile away at Rutlader - but it is still soft. Better than nothing!)
Matt was not convinced either so we headed inside to check the news and I text my co-worker to confirm. She lives in the country as well and hears the same sirens we do.
CONFIRMED. Tornado siren. CONFIRMED. Tornado spotted. CONFIRMED. Headed toward downtown Louisburg (what?!) CONFIRMED. Will be here in 10 minutes. Get to the basement.
CONFIRMED. Heart Racing.
Immediately I start texting friends and family. Momma Hill calls to make sure we are in the basement. Aunt Tia is taking care of our friends home in town. We reach out to her and make sure she is aware and safe. My brother and his wife send Sharknado pictures and reference Twister. Witty. I'm sure my mother is ready to scream bloody murder.
While I stayed inside monitoring the tornado's path via the news, Matt was out on Miss Kay hoping to spot the twister on the back side of our property ... surprise surprise. I think he was secretly hoping to have an opportunity to throw our new barn cat, Bolt, into the wind :)
In total the siren blared for about 30 minutes and will definitely be one of those flashbulb memories that I never forget. The tornado thankfully missed us. Closest it got was four miles north of downtown, and we are seven miles south of that. It was traveling East on 68 directly toward us but started to shift north before downtown. Although we never saw it, tornadoes can turn on a dime, change path, and be unpredictable so you can't take a chance with mother nature.
I have to say the local media did an amazing job of early reporting, assessing danger, and keeping everyone safe! Here is a report of the tornado after all was said and done :)
Enjoy these few pictures we grabbed off the TV during live broadcast:
Here's to a wild spring and more "survival" stories to come :) cheers!